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BITTERNESS-FREE HEART (2)

Date: 
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Job 23: 1-14

“Even today my complaint is BITTER; My hand is listless because of my groaning” Job 23:2

God can turn a complaint-filled heart into a BITTERNESS-FREE HEART: ““Even today my complaint is BITTER; My hand is listless because of my groaning” (Job 23:2). Like Job’s case, suffering can activate an attitude of bitterness, which can grow subtly in one’s heart long before the fruit of it rises to the surface. Unresolved anger, un-forgiveness, resentment, and jealousy, are a few of life’s struggles that cause many to plunge into Bitterness. How we respond to life’s difficult circumstances directly affects our spiritual well-being. Many lives have been ruined by bitterness and a lack of forgiveness. The longer we carry a grudge, the heavier it becomes. People go through physical and emotional breakdowns because they refuse to forgive others and jettison bitterness.

When the heart is embittered it can impact everything in one’s life from relationships to physical health. Bitterness has everything to do with where our eyes are fixated: Inward on us – self-centred; outward on our circumstances; or upward on God, trusting in His goodness and praise? Keeping bitterness in our heart is like piercing our own heart with a dagger! Let’s give it to the Lord without delay: LET ALL BITTERNESS, wrath, anger, clamor, and all evil speaking be put away from you, with ALL malice” (Eph.4: 31). The commandment to forgive and to not keep bitterness is not just one of God’s commandments to simply obey to please Him. The commandment is for our benefit – not His – to save us from destruction! Our spirit man will be ruined by harbouring bitterness.

Genesis 4 records the bitter beginnings in Humanity’s Story. The very first sibling relationship shows how unrepentant bitterness played out in murder. Cain was angry, hurt, and resentful that his half-hearted fruit offering was rejected by God, yet his brother’s sacrificial lamb offering was accepted and pleased the Lord (Gen.4: 3-5). God, in His omniscience, warned Cain that “sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen.4:7). Though Cain was the first embittered sibling, he certainly has not been the last. Unfortunately, similar scenarios have played out many times within familial relationships through the ages.

Many, like Cain, play the silent treatment against their sibling or friend, letting the ember of jealousy burning within their heart lead to a poisonous infection of bitterness seeping into the rest of their relationships. Bitterness starts off hidden in the depths of the heart as a perceived slight in treatment or a straightforward attack from someone. If not identified and appropriately dealt with, it opens the door for Satan to bring about death and destruction within hearts and relationships.

Bitterness is not an asset to be cherished or covered up. Father-God knows the way that we take and performs what is appointed for us (vv. 10,14). If we ask Him, He’ll enable us to unveil every part of our heart where there is bitterness and give us the grace to let it go. The root of a plant is typically hidden underground, invisible to the outside world. The roots producing bitterness in lives could be an individual, a habit, a relationship, or a past experience. We should request and allow God’s axe to cut off such root from our hearts, before its bitter fruit poisons an entire life! In case we feel inadequate in ourselves; we can ask the Holy Spirit for the strength to remove every bitterroot from our heart!

The remedy for the bitter spirit is the healing balm of the Word of God, which can release the tortured soul to know love, joy, and peace from the Holy Spirit. Everyone has a choice to become better or bitter in life. The better is that God loves, forgives, and makes a way for His people to escape bitterness. The bitter is a lifetime wasted in regret and anger – burdened and burdening others. We were born again to conquer the world, Satan, and the flesh through God’s Grace. But we must be free from bitterness and be better!

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, by the healing Balm of Your Word, turn our complaint-filled hearts into a BITTERNESS-FREE HEART, in Jesus name.
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